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Saddam execution 'within hours'
Saddam Hussein is only a few hours way from execution, his lawyers and Iraqi officials hinted on Friday.
Khalil al- Dulaimi, Saddam's defence lawyer, told Reuters: "The Americans have notified us that they have handed over the president to the Iraqi authorities.
"They told us the president is no longer under the authority of the American forces and they requested us not to go to Baghdad," he said.
Najib al-Nuaimi, another defence lawyer, had earlier told Al Jazeera that he believed that the toppled president would be executed on Saturday.
Reuters quoting a key court official in Baghdad said Iraq's government had told him to be ready to attend the hanging of Saddam Hussein between 5.30am and 6am (02:30-03:00 GMT) on Saturday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he had been sworn to secrecy, told Reuters that a government official telephoned to tell him that he would be taken to the place of execution in time. The court official is among those who must, by law, attend any execution.
The government has been meeting US officials to determine if a hanging can take place on Saturday and it was still not clear if a final decision had been made or whether court officials were being gathered simply as a precautionary measure
An AP report, also quoting an unnamed Iraqi official, said that Saddam could be executed before 6am Baghdad time (03:00 GMT) on Saturday.